Condo property living has always been a popular lifestyle in Bellingham. From the historic Fairhaven district and the area near Western Washington University to the suburbs on Lake Whatcom, condos have attracted homeowners, renters, and investors.
The demand for condominiums and apartments in Bellingham has grown over the preceding two years since the price of single-family homes has increased by 12.7%. The city issued permits for 326 multi-family units in 2017 that are now under construction. This is in contrast to only 232 multi-family permits requested in 2016. Many condos and apartments are rented by people who are not ready to purchase a home for one reason or another.
Construction on Fairhaven Towers is underway this spring at Harris and 12th streets across from the Fairhaven Pharmacy. This will be a five-story building with penthouse suites on the top floor. The 35-unit building will include 5,000 square feet of retail space at street level. The property is the site of an old gas station. The project should be completed by 2019.
Fairhaven Towers is not a Seattle style high-rise. Most condominium buildings in Whatcom County are six stories or less with retail businesses often located at street level. Since much of Bellingham is built on hills, many buildings have views of the San Juan Islands or the Cascade Mountains.
The Port of Bellingham has approved the construction of three residential buildings near the restored Granary Building by the Whatcom Waterway. This $32 million waterfront project will add 70 residences along with commercial space and underground parking. This is the first residential project for this waterfront area.
A new apartment community is under review by the Bellingham Design Review Board near Whatcom Community College. The apartments are to be located at 109 South Samish Way and include two new five-story buildings with 44 units. The buildings will be apartments and a mixed-use building.
In addition, an old office building is scheduled for demolition at 1801 C Street. It will be replaced by a new residential building with 10 studio units.
Apartment communities are under review for the North Bellingham area. This includes 134 units at Aurora Loop. The proposed Mahogany Manor will feature studio, one and two bedroom units and an outdoor common area.
Bellingham has adopted the Infill Housing concept of using urban land for smaller, sustainable residences that offer affordable and comfortable housing. The townhouses, condos, apartments, and small homes are located close to downtown or other major commercial areas. These are urban villages with different size residences that can be rented or purchased.
Vacant or distressed properties are used for these new residential and multi-use buildings. The North Bellingham, C Street, and Fairhaven projects are examples of this successful concept.
Infill Housing results in high-density urban living with the goal of limiting commuting time with easy access to work, shopping, dining, and entertainment. Public transportation is also part of the program.
The condos and apartments are usually managed by property management companies that collect rents and supervise grounds maintenance. They also collect HOA dues from condo owners who may have that cost included in the rent if the units are leased.
Single-family home permits totaled 202 for 2017. This is the largest number of new home permits since 2004. This year, 46 new home permits have been issued in the first three months. That includes 10 new single-family homes to be built near Whatcom Community College on Sumac Lane.
Bellingham continues to expand within the city to provide housing for people in this growing community.
Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.